Nebraska used timely hitting and got a career high ten strikeouts from Jake Hohensee in a 8-4 victory over the Scarlet Knights. The Huskers jumped out to a 8-1 lead and held on as they watched a blowout become a close game for the second consecutive contest.
Rutgers struck for a run in the first inning. After retiring the first two batters, Mike Martinez singled and scored when Tom Marcincyzk doubled down the line. A strikeout would end the threat.
The Huskers responded in the bottom half of the inning off of starting pitcher Gaby Rosa. Jake Meyers worked a ten pitch at bat that ended in a single to start the inning. Angelo Altavilla singled and Scott Schreiber followed with another base hit to drive in Meyers. Ben Miller hit a routine double play ball, which Rutgers turned into a throwing error, scoring Altavilla and giving the Huskers the lead.
In the fourth, the Huskers added a run when Luke Roskam went the other way and lifted a ball over the fence in left field.
A big inning in the fifth appeared to put the game out of reach for Rutgers. The first four Huskers reached, and scored when Jake Schleppenbach reached on an error and moved to second when Meyers singled. Altavilla tripled into the gap in left to plate two while Schreiber homered to push the lead to 7-1.
Nebraska tacked on a run in the sixth just for good measure when Mojo Hagge reached on an error and scored on Meyers third base hit of the night.
Hohensee ran into trouble in the seventh and brought back shades of Sunday’s bullpen meltdown. After a leadoff double, Hohensee would strikeout two more Rutgers batters to bring his total to ten. A walk, and then two straight hits brought in three runs to cut the lead to 8-4. After another walk, Hohensee’s day was done and in came Robbie Palkert. Palkert fell behind Jawuan Harris who lifted a flyball to deep right center, which was caught by a diving Hagge to deny the Knights anymore runs.
After the Huskers failed to score in the seventh, Robbie Palkert would get the first two outs of the eight thanks to some solid defense from Altavilla. Chad Luensmann relieved Palkert and got the final out of the inning.
Nebraska had two walks and a hit in the bottom of the eighth, but a pickoff killed any momentum for the Huskers.
Luensmann would stay in for the ninth. After a leadoff walk, Chad would get a groundout and a strikeout, a single plated a run to bring the Knights within three. After falling behind Harris 3-1, Luensmann would get a groundout to Brison Cronenbold to secure the win
Nebraska moves to 27-16 (10-5-1 Big Ten) while Rutgers falls to 17-26 (5-8 Big Ten). Nebraska stays alone in second place in the Big Ten standings, with Minnesota, Michigan, Maryland, and Iowa all picking up victories, the Huskers keep pace. Nebraska and Rutgers meet again tomorrow afternoon at 2:05.